No facet of Alcoholics Anonymous history has been more misrepresented than A.A.’s connection with the Oxford Group. There are some relevant fundamentals concerning the relationship. But there are far more erroneous pieces of information still being promulgated by many today. Consider the following:
Yes, after he got sober, Bill Wilson became involved with the Oxford Group on the East Coast. But the real activities that brought about Bill’s sobriety had little to do with the Oxford Group at and before the time he got sober. Bill actually learned the solution to alcoholism–conversion to God through Jesus Christ–from his friend Ebby Thacher and from his physician Dr. William D. Silkworth.
To be sure, Bill also learned about the Oxford Group from Rowland Hazard and Ebby Thacher. But he did not rely on Oxford Group principles and practices (their life-changing program) when he: (1) made his decision to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at Calvary Mission in New York; (2) became born again and so stated in his autobiography; (3) decided he needed to turn to the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, for help and so stated in his autobiography; and (4) went to Towns Hospital, cried out to God for help, and had his indescribably white light experience-which included sensing the presence of God and having the thought: “Bill, you are a free man. This is the God of the Scriptures.” .See Dick B., The Conversion of Bill W. (www.DickB.com/conversion.shtml). See also Dale Mitchel, Silkworth: The Little Doctor Who Loved Drunks. And seeBill’s own words in The Language of the Heart, page 284.